Samsung takes on iTunes with Music Hub scan-and-match
Samsung Electronics is expanding its Music Hub streaming service to include a scan-and-match feature enabling consumers to access their digital music library across multiple platforms and devices.
Announced Thursday in conjunction with the new Galaxy S III smartphone, the revamped Music Hub scans the user's hard drive, matching their songs with the 17 million tracks available in Samsung's library and making that content accessible via the cloud. Music Hub closely resembles Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes Match, which mirrors music library files with a 256 kbps AAC DRM-free version culled from the iTunes Store, offering consumers anytime/anywhere access to their collections via the iCloud digital media storage platform.
Available for download from the Samsung Apps storefront, the subscription-based Music Hub app offers unlimited streaming access, allowing users to browse and search for content by applying filters like new releases, genres, artists and chart rankings. Music Hub streams tracks via Wi-Fi or 3G connection; in addition to Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets, the service is compatible with the manufacturer's Smart TVs and Home Theatre systems, as well as the desktop.
Music Hub costs $9.99 per month for streaming to one device or $12.99 per month to as many as four devices. The scan-and-match tool is offered free with a paid subscription; by comparison, Apple offers iTunes Match at $24.99 per year.
Samsung also will provide 50GB of free DropBox cloud storage to Galaxy S III owners. The DropBox app will come pre-installed on the device. DropBox previously announced similar agreements with Samsung rivals HTC and Sony.
The Galaxy S III, which runs Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 4.0, touts a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display at 720p resolution, 8-megapixel back camera and 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera with burst and best-shot capabilities alongside 16 or 32 GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.0 support, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Near Field Communications support. Samsung will release the phone in Europe later this month, with a U.S. rollout on tap for this summer; the company did not announce pricing.
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